Oh, wait. Nope. It’s still a mess here. Just slightly better lit and with some sparkly bits.
We put on Christmas music. We broke out some of the Christmas decorations over the weekend to try and muster up some holiday spirit. And we put up the Christmas tree, which is always an adventure with a small child.
This involved shoving a lot of the other mess out of the way to make way for the new mess, so clearly, we did not have a solid plan going in. But we used some of the mess to corral That Baby during the bits with the lights and the stepladder, and in the end the tree is up and looking quite nice.
We have some issues, though. First, the tree is somewhat bent from a certain big dumb cat who insists on climbing it, year after year. And the tree skirt is always all over the room from a certain other slightly-less-big dumb cat who uses it as her own personal sleeping bag.
But we decorated it well, so the gaps and wonky branches are hidden — for now. It’s a matter of time before there’s a cat swinging from the bending, twisting branches and ornaments come crashing to the floor. But if the cats don’t trash it, the preschooler will.
This is the first year she’s actually been, you know, CONSCIOUS at Christmas time, as opposed to a cooing, babylike mound of somewhat mobile humanity known as a toddler. So she was all about the OMGWTF LET ME HELP OR I WILL DIE participation.
Our first issue was the lights. She was all OOOOOOHHHHH PRETTY which is fine, but we had to deter her from trying to pick them up and carry them around and stuff. The lights are older than dirt. They might get hot. I dunno.
Also? Since we’ve had a few birthdays recently she’s become fond of blowing out candles, so she spent a good half hour trying to blow out the lights while we were getting strings ready to go.
We have also observed that a preschooler’s idea of decorating is somewhat different to an adult’s, just so you know. In Stinkerbelle’s case, it involved running to Daddy, who was unwrapping ornaments, and under the direction, “Now, take this to Mommy”, she would run over to the tree and plonk whatever decoration it was on a branch. Then back to Daddy. Then back to the tree. PLONK, on the same branch. Then back to Daddy. Left to her own devices, one branch would be VERY well decorated on an otherwise empty tree. But we got that sorted.
Living with cats, and now a small child, we have installed an Early Warning System on our tree. All the lowest branches are hung with bells. This way, if anyone is screwing around in any way with anything on, under, or around the tree, a bell will jingle, and we know to look and deal.
WELL now. Bells are apparently AWESOME to an excitable Stinkerbelle, who has intermittently trotted over to the tree since having it put up, and WAILED ON THE BELLS. She’s smacking them, and yanging on them, and smacking them some more, and the tree is waving to and fro like it’s caught in a monsoon.
So that’s been fun.
We also have a Santa hat, which is to be worn on Christmas morning by the “elf” who distributes the presents from under the tree. Except now, it’s “HATTY HATTY HATTY!” as soon as she sees it, and she has to have the hat on. Which she then pulls down as far as she can over her ears and face, and then starts flailing about like Iggy Pop doing a bizarre holiday slam dance, in an effort to see the pom-pom on the top waggling about.
Not to mention, I spend a couple hours picking fuzz out of her puffs afterwards.
But it’s a start, right? I have many presents bought. I even made the first of my Christmas cookies today. Well, the dough, anyway. Let’s not get carried away.
So, let’s just say it’s beginning to look a lot like it might be beginning to look somewhat like something kind of nearing Christmas, and leave it at that.